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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > November 2018 > Hope Springs eternal

Hope Springs eternal

Palm Springs has a rich gay history and a reputation for cold mojitos and hot men. But, as Will Stroude quickly discovers, there’s more to this California desert oasis than simply a place to quench your thirst…
REACH FOR THE SKY: The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Some European destinations can cater to gay travellers looking for a sun-soaked getaway among fellow LGBT+ brethren, while boasting gayness in their blood, forming part of the very make-up of the place.

Think Sitges or Mykonos. Asked to name a place of equal queer stature in the USA, the answer is simple: Palm Springs. Nestled in the gateway of California’s Coachella Valley some 100 miles east of Los Angeles, the desert resort town has been a bolt-hole for Hollywood A-listers and gay men from around the States for the best part of a century. Sun, sex, scandal and Cher — Palm Springs has seen it all over the years, and while its permanent population of just 45,000 might make it the size of your average British market town, the cosmopolitan food, arts and nightlife scene gives it the pull of a city 10 times the size.

But, as I was about to discover on my fourday excursion to this West Coast gay Mecca, there’s plenty more to Palm Springs than simply hedonism in 40C heat — not that I wasn’t going to fully immerse myself in that side of things, of course.

And as for its gay appeal? Well, let’s just say this is a city where every single member of the city council is at least one part of the LGBT+ acronym. Yep, you read that right.

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